Tag Archives: contests

2017 UoG Novel Writing Contest Officially Open to Submissions

3 Feb

Row of Old Books

That’s right, folks: Team UoG is back after the long winter’s break, and there are going to be a myriad of writing opportunities coming your way as we move into Semester 2.  These include reading and showcasing events, submissions calls and chances to get published (including in the next UoG New Writing Anthology) and, firstly, the 2017 UoG Novel Writing Contest, which is back, and again run in conjunction with agent Becky Thomas from the London-based literary agency, Johnson & Alcock.  The contest is now officially open to submissions, but don’t rush: you have four months to polish that opus into shape, as the deadline isn’t until May 31st, well after your final assessments are due.  So those taking HM5105, our novel writing class, will perhaps want to take the time to develop your extract in workshops before sending it to our judges.  Others might want to revisit that project in the bottom drawer.  Either way, we look forward to seeing what you come up with, and just so you’re clear on the guidelines up front, take a look at our official contest page, or check out the past winners for inspiration.


Anthology Launch & 2016 UoG Novel Writing Contest Winners Announced!

16 Dec

On Tuesday the course celebrated the launch of this year’s paperback anthology of student work, Reflections: New Writing 5.  Attendees were treated to readings from contributors on campus, which was followed by an after-party at Tailor’s bar in town.  Excitingly, at the event the winners for this year’s UoG Novel Writing Contest were also announced.  3rd prize went to Mark Webber for his Mafioso crime novel, Mamma; 2nd prize went to Pamela Keevil for her drama-mystery, Mayflies; and the overall winner was Senja Andrejevic for her thriller, All The Things We Knew.  Each winner received a cash prize and professional critique from literary agent Becky Thomas, of Johnson and Alcock.  Thanks to all who came out to support such a great night, as well as all those who submitted work to the anthology and the novel writing contest.  Have a good break, and we’ll see you in the New Year!

2016 UoG Novel Writing Contest Shortlist Announced!

21 Nov


That’s right, folks.  The long wait is over: our in-house judges have read through this year’s manuscript submissions to the UoG Novel Writing Contest and have whittled it down to a shortlist of six.  Submissions were anonymous, and these six will be sent on to our external judge, literary agent Becky Thomas, of the Johnson & Alcock Literary Agency in London.  This year’s shortlist includes a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate students.  We’ll have our fingers crossed for everybody, and hope to announce the finalists and overall winner at this year’s anthology launch (more on this shortly!).

For now, in alphabetical order by author (followed by year of study at time of submission)  here is the The 2016 UoG Novel Writing Contest Shortlist:

  • All The Things We Knew by Senja Andrejevic (MA)
  • The Enlightenment Effect by Loz Apperly (2nd year)
  • Half-Life by Heather Cripps (3rd year)
  • Winter and Spain by Sam James (2nd year)
  • Mayflies by Pamela Keevil (MA)
  • Mama by Mark Webber (MA)


Compass Anthology Launch & 2015 UoG Novel Contest Results

12 Nov

2015-10-28 07.58.31It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks here at UoG, with a plethora (big word alert) of exciting events and happenings.  One of the biggest was the launch of the Compass anthology, the latest addition to the New Writing series showcasing the best work by students on our BA, MA, and PhD programmes.  The event on campus included launch promotions and readings by nine brave contributors, and the turnout was tremendous.  Afterwards a large portion of the audience trekked across Cheltenham for further fun, food, and drinks at The Swan pub.  The editorial team – MA students from last year’s HM7106 module – wanted to thank all those who supported the event, and helped make the night such a success.

Phil BowneCoinciding with the launch was the announcement of the results of the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest.  The selections were sent to us by literary agent Becky Thomas, now of Johnson & Alcock, who picked the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners.  In what was a very close competition, graduating student Meg Paul received 3rd prize; MA graduate Keely O’Shaughnessy earned 2nd prize, and the 1st prize went to graduating 3rd year Phil Bowne.  Each received a cash prize (£25, £50, and £100 respectively) and feedback from Becky regarding their novel entries.  A big congrats to our three winners, those who made the shortlist, and all the other entrants.

Next year’s anthology will be opening its editorial office soon, and the novel contest is an annual event so keep your eyes firmly fixed to this blog for news about the 2016 submission call in the spring.

One Week To Compass Launch!

20 Oct

A week today, on Tuesday October 27th, the UoG Writing Programme will be launching Compass: New Writing IV, the latest anthology in the New Writing series, featuring the best prose, poetry, and drama by students on our course.  So navigate your way to TC002A at 6.45 p.m. and join us for snacks and beverages.  We will then adjust course and move into the main lecture theatre (TC001) for readings, before announcing the results of the second annual UoG Novel Writing Contest.  For the after-party, our hardy adventurers will make an epic trek to The Swan – a venue on the far side of the little world called Cheltenham, where we’ve booked a private function room.  The night is going to be one for the record books, or log books, so get your gear together and join the expedition!

Compass Launch Poster 3

Novel Writing Contest Shortlist!

13 Oct

This week, the much anticipated shortlist for the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest has been revealed.  It was a competitive field and the judges did not approach it lightly: it required much deliberating and soul-searching and debating before they eventually came to a decision.  But that moment has come.  Before pulling back the curtain, we would like to thank all those who entered – the standards were very high.  As with our inaugural competition, we have narrowed the field down to a shortlist of six to be sent on to literary agent Becky Thomas, who is our finals judge and will pick the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner (each of whom will receive a cash prize, and critique).  In alphabetical order by author, the shortlist of six is:

  • Eva by Phil Bowne
  • Year One by Heather Cripps
  • The Masterpiece by Rod Griffiths
  • Paper Boats by Keely O’Shaughnessy
  • Claro by Meg Paul
  • All the Things We Knew by Senja Andrejevic

Congratulations to all who entered, and in particular our shortlisted entrants.  The three winners will be announced at this year’s anthology launch, for Compass: New Writing IV, on Tuesday October 27th at 6.45 p.m. in TC001/TC002A.  So come along to what’s shaping up to be a brilliant event.


24 Hours to Tulsa…and the Closure of This Year’s UoG Novel Writing Contest!

30 May

Clock Face 2That’s right, folks.  The end is nigh.  Back on February 1st, when we announced that the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest was open for submissions, it seemed as if you had all the time in the world to get your magnum opus into shape.  But the days have flown by, like paper in the wind – as Tom Petty would say – and now not only has Semester 2 come to an end, but THERE IS ONLY ONE DAY LEFT BEFORE THE 2015 UOG NOVEL WRITING CONTEST CLOSES TO SUBMISSIONS!  As ever, there are a few dilligent souls who are right with us, way ahead of the game, leading the pack (please insert any other stock phrase here) and have in fact already handed in their entries.  Doesn’t it make you furious that they haven’t left it till the last minute like you?  Well, get them in your sights and take them down.  One day might seem too short a time to do anything, but just think: you still have over 26 hours to revise, polish, format, and submit.  So get to it.  The guidelines are here.  Sleep is optional.  Caffeine is plentiful.  Are you a writer or are you a marsupial?

UoG Novel Contest Deadline!

20 May

Now that you’ve submitted those assignments, and summer is in sight, unless you’re part of the team organizing the eagerly anticipated UoG fringe you might be tempted to kick back, enjoy a beverage or two, and relax.  But wait!  Did you forget about one of the most exciting opportunities we have here on our Creative Writing programme?  That’s right: the UoG Novel Writing Contest, run in association with Becky Thomas at Fox Mason, will be closing to submissions at the end of this month, at midnight on May 31st.  So you have just under two weeks to get those manuscripts in order.  Those who’ve been taking our Novel Writing class, HM6105, already have an extract (3000 words) they can submit.  Competition is going to be fierce, and we judges are looking forward to the selection process, and sending a shortlist on to Becky to pick the winners.  For those just catching up, you can check out our guidelines page for details of how to submit.  Good luck, and get to it!

Row of Old Books

Stroud Short Stories

14 Mar

The Compass anthology may have moved on to the next stage of the editorial process, but there are other new and exciting publishing opportunities fast approaching.  One of them is the latest Stroud Short Stories Competition, which is aimed at writers in Gloucestershire (and welcomes submissions from students here at UoG).  Full details and contest guidelines are available on their website.  The main point to note is that they accept both published and unpublished work, so if your piece has been accepted elsewhere (including Compass) you’re still free to submit it to them.  The deadline is a week today, on Saturday March 21st.  As usual, ten selected authors will get to take part in a reading event at the Stroud Valleys Artspace, and their work may also be included in a forthcoming print anthology.  Good luck and do us proud!

stroud short stories image 2

Announcing the Second Annual UoG Novel Writing Contest!

1 Feb

bookFor those who haven’t submitted, you have less than 24 hours to send your novel excerpt and synopsis to the Myriad First Drafts Novel Competition, which closes tomorrow at noon.  If you don’t have anything ready, fear not: as one window of opportunity closes, another opens here at UoG.  That’s right, folks: the 2015 UoG Novel Writing Contest is now officially open.  You have four months to draft, rewrite, polish, and hone your opus (or a 3,000 word extract thereof, and a synopsis) and get it in to us.  We will be accepting submissions from today, February 1st, until May 31st, 2015.  As with last year, the contest will be judged by literary agent Becky Thomas, of the Fox Mason agency, who will select from our shortlist her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners – each of whom will receive a professional industry critique as well as a cash prize.  Please check out our full submission guidelines and our main contest page for further details.  As Becky’s critique of last year’s winning entry demonstrates, the contest represents a real opportunity for students to make an industry connection and further their writing careers.  So what are you waiting for?  Get writing!

Myriad First Drafts Contest

17 Jan

Whew.  The new (and slightly extended) Semester 1 has finally drawn to a close, with the majority of BA and MA assessment having been handed in this past week.  Congratulations to all for making your deadlines (we hope) and take satisfaction in knowing the workload now passes to your tutors, who will be furiously (as in busily, not angrily) marking during the inter-semester week.  Now that you have a bit of respite, we thought we’d draw your attention to a great opportunity for new and upcoming writers.  We have had several guest speakers from Myriad Editions visit the course this year (more on this later) and the Brighton-based publisher is known for supporting and nurturing new talent; most notably, they run an annual writing competition entitled ‘First Drafts,’ which is open to all authors who’ve yet to publish a book.  The focus is on novels and short story collections, but in the initial instance you don’t need to have a full manuscript: just your sample chapters and synopsis.  It’s perfect for those on our Novel Writing Module (HM6105) and Creative Commissions & Proposals (HM7105) as many of you will already have a project in hand.  The prize includes a writing retreat at the beautiful West Dean College.  If you’re interested, the deadline is February 2; check out their guidelines by downloading the First Drafts Competition 2015 flyer, or through the Myriad website – and good luck!


Inaugural UoG Novel Writing Contest Finalists Announced!

28 Nov

fox_mason_headerIt’s been an exciting semester on the course, with further staff and student publications, prizes won, and the launch of the hugely popular, student-led magazine Show Don’t Tell.  This week has been particularly buzzing as we gear up for the launch of Carnival, the latest anthology from our in-house New Writing series.  To add to the excitement, we recently heard back from Becky Thomas at the Fox Mason agency, who has selected the three finalists in our inaugural UoG Novel Writing Contest, from the field of six shortlisted entrees.  Becky spoke highly of all the entrees, and narrowing down the field was a very difficult task.  However, it had to be done, and we’re now in a position to announce the finalists.  Drum roll, please…the novels still in contention are:

  • ‘Things We Should Have Done’ by Hayley Barnes (BA student)
  • ‘Matlock’ by Duncan Dicks (PhD student)
  • ‘The Good Housewife’s Frontal Lobotomy’ by Jane Durston (MA student)

A big congratulations to our finalists, as well as the other shortlisted entrants.  The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be announced at the Carnival launch next week, and the prizes given – including cash and a professional critique, courtesy of Becky and her team.  So if the suspense (and the way we’re dragging this out) is driving you nuts, you’ll have to come along on the night to find out who’s taken top spot!

Stroud Short Stories

7 Sep

After a summer of writing success for staff, current students, and alumni, here at UoG’s Writing School we’re gearing up for Induction Week in just over a week’s time.  Time to fire up those laptops, get out those notebooks, and sharpen those pencils in preparation for another year of writing, workshops, and procrastinating.  However, for those who are already chomping at the proverbial bit, can’t wait to get started, and have been developing new work over the holiday, this news flash is for you: Stroud Short Stories is currently seeking submissions from those who’d like to perform at its regular reading event.  Previously it was only open to those in the Stroud area, but the doors have been blown open and they’re seeking the best work from across Gloucestershire.  Ten stories will be selected from those submitted to be read at Stroud Valleys Artspace, in front of an appreciative audience.  Sound like your thing?  The deadline is September 28th, and the readings take place in October.  Check out the full rules and submission guidelines on the Stroud Short Stories website.  As for the rest of you, well, time to rouse yourselves from that summery slumber, shake yourselves off, and limber up for the autumn semester.  See you in a couple of weeks!

stroud short stories image 2